Help & advice Personal safety Internet safety Social Networking Try not to reveal personal details such as your address, phone number, routine or place of work. Change your passwords regularly. Review your privacy settings to make sure that only your friends can see your profile details and pictures. Don’t let others tag you in photos remove all tags from photos. Do not allow people that you’ve never met or don’t know access to your profile or add them to your contact lists. Do not share your passwords with anyone. If you do, even accidentally, change them as soon as possible. Try to use memorable hard to guess passwords, such as a phrase or fact, rather than using the automatic log-in function offered on some browsers. Online Dating and Forums Do not reveal any identifiable personal information about yourself, such as where you work, where you live, your phone number or second name. Choose a handle (log-in name) that doesn’t reveal anything about your gender or your real name. If you decide to meet someone you know online, always meet in a public place and ask a friend to come with you at first. If no one can accompany you, leave details of your plans with a friend and agree to contact them at a certain time. Mobile phones and some digital cameras automatically put data that shows where the picture was taken. This data is easy to find. So, do not send a photo unless you have turned off your geo-location tags feature and so you know it is safe. Don’t send old photos if you are unsure. Computers Install anti-virus and anti spyware software and always make sure it’s up to date. If you are being stalked and suspect your computer has been bugged or that someone has placed tracking software or malware on it, ask a trusted professional to look at it and remove any suspicious software. If you suspect that someone is able to access or read what you are doing on your computer it may have spyware. Go to a safe computer such as a friend or library and immediately change the passwords on your key online accounts such email, social networking, bank/paypal accounts. Don’t access those accounts with your computer until it is clean and safe. You can clean your computer by buying an anti-spyware software. Email You dont necessarily have to close your email account if you start getting unwanted communciation. Instead, you can create another account and give that address only to trusted friends and family. Consider creating different email accounts to use with financial services and retail accounts. If you are being stalked you can set up a filter so that emails from a particular sender go straight to a certain file and don’t appear in your inbox. This means you will still have the emails as evidence but won’t have to see them when you open your mail. It is sometimes easy for people to guess passwords, event if they only know limited information about you such as your age or faviourite hobby. If someone gains unauthorised access to your email or social media accounts they can find out a lot of information about you and this could put you at risk of identify theft or having private images or videos distributed without your consent. Mobile phone safety Set your mobile so you have to use a PIN to unlock your phone. Try to set it to lock after one or two minutes without use. Use random numbers instead of birthdates or other guessable formats. Don’t use apps that tell you where friends are, or ‘check you in’. Turn off geolocation services in camera apps and your mobile settings. Turn it on only when you need to use it. It will also increase your battery life. Cover Your Tracks As you surf the internet your internet browser will save certain information, such as the websites you have visited and images or publications you have downloaded. If you do not want people who may have access to your computer to know which websites you have been viewing you should use a safe computer such as a friend’s, library or work. There are different methods to hide your tracks and delete your history for each internet browser. Click the link below for information about how to delete your history from some of the most popular browsers. It should be noted that if you are using someone else’s computer they may notice if you delete the computer history and cookies.